Congressional candidate Cathy Kunkel outlines plans for Healthcare for All

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed even more openly the problems of the U.S. healthcare system. More than 60,000 West Virginians lost health insurance during this pandemic, as a result of losing their jobs. In a paper released Monday, Cathy Kunkel, the Democratic nominee for West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, outlines plans for making healthcare more accessible and affordable in West Virginia and improving public health outcomes.

Kunkel advocates for Improved Medicare for All, a universal healthcare system that would cover all Americans, dramatically reduce administrative costs and include coverage for dental, vision and long-term care.

Kunkel also supports:

  • Requiring federal health insurance programs to negotiate prescription drug prices, as the VA already does. 
  • Banning on advertising expensive prescription drugs to the public.
  • Encouraging and incentivizing healthcare providers to prioritize prevention. For example, Cathy supports requiring Medicaid to cover the cost of patient navigators to help coordinate care for high-risk individuals and those with chronic disease.
  • Requiring equal coverage for mental health and physical health.
  • Forgiving medical debt. In West Virginia, nearly a third of non-elderly adults have overdue medical bills, significantly higher than the national average. 
  • Federal investment in locally-owned broadband infrastructure to allow greater access to tele-health services. Cathy will also fight to insure full payment to providers for tele-health services. 
  • Greater federal funding to address the shortage of healthcare providers in rural areas of our state, including expanding the National Health Services Corporation.
  • Strengthening the Veterans Health Administration and opposing back-door efforts to privatize the VA. 
  • Continued support for federally qualified health clinics. 
  • Restoring funding for the CDC and local health departments.

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West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District includes Putnam, Kanawha, Jackson, Clay, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Braxton, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph, Pendleton, Hardy, Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson Counties.